METRO DIGEST || Ryan bills call for tuition-, debt-free college education

Ryan bills target debts for college education


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is co-sponsoring three bills that, if passed, would make a college education tuition-free and debt-free.

"No matter if it's a two-year degree, a four-year degree or a technical-certificate program, the success of the United States relies on our citizens having access to post-high school training and education," Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said Wednesday.

"Education is critical to personal flourishing as well as keeping the American workforce competitive in an increasingly globalized economy. College should not only be for the privileged few. It is a benefit for all, and must be seen that way."

Niles vote delayed


The Trumbull County Democratic Party has pushed back the precinct committee vote to select the Niles mayor to 5 p.m. Wednesday, instead of Friday evening. The vote will take place in city council chambers.

According to Jeff Goodman, party parliamentarian, two county elections board officials who normally oversee the voting were not going to be available due to other commitments.

Niles' 12 precinct committee members must choose one of 10 candidates to fill the unexpired term of Tom Scarnecchia, who suddenly retired June 18 after serving less than 30 months of his four-year term, which expires at the end of 2019. Barry Steffey Jr., council president who is acting mayor, is one of four council members among the 10 candidates.

The Aug. 1 vote comes 44 days after the effective date of Scarnecchia's retirement. Earlier, city Law Director Terry Swauger said candidate selection had to be completed within 45 days for the party to choose a successor.

Prison in sex-crime case


A man from Rittman received a two-year prison sentence for his guilty plea on seven sex-crime charges.

Judge Anthony D'Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Christopher Vicars, 37, of Diane Street to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to five counts of importuning (soliciting sex from a person under 13), two counts of compelling prostitution and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

WRTA board to meet


The Western Reserve Transit Authority trustee board meeting will be at 1 p.m. today in the board room at WRTA headquarters, 604 Mahoning Ave.

'Coffee and Conversation'


Councilwoman Anita Davis, D-6th, invites the public to sit down and share what is going on in the neighborhood during a "Coffee and Conversation" to take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Flambeau Dinner Club, 2308 Market St. Davis will provide a complimentary breakfast. Among topics to be discussed will be the Market Street beautification.

Grant supports Erie algae warning system


A federal grant will help improve a system that provides early warnings about harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan says the Great Lakes Observing System Regional Association in Ann Arbor will receive $585,702 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Improvements to the observing system funded by the grant will provide water managers and researchers with timely and user-friendly access to critical monitoring data during future blooms.

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